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If the match between ASU and South Carolina was just a couple seconds longer, the Gamecocks would have scored and sent the game to overtime.

The Sun Devils dodged a bullet and all the sweaty fans in attendance sighed in relief as ASU held on for a 1-0 victory.

With 10 seconds remaining, South Carolina threw the ball in for one last attack. The ball took a funny hop off a shot and found its way into the net, but time had just run out on the Gamecocks.

“Our team needs to play all the way through, bottom line,” ASU coach Kevin Boyd said. “The clock had hit zero before that ball was struck, but we need to play all the way through. We shouldn’t of let it go down to the end like that.”

Emotions were on full display, partly because of the summer afternoon heat, but also because of the physical nature of the game.

Lead official Alejandro Mariscal dished out five yellow cards in the second half alone, and, combined, the teams received 26 fouls.

Included in the five cards was one yellow to each sideline.

On the field of play, ASU scored its only goal in the 60th minute of the game. Senior defender Kari Shane drilled the ball on net from a free kick, and had her shot deflected by South Carlina goalie Darien Vercillo. Fortunately for ASU, redshirt sophomore forward Nicki Stone was right there for an easy put back.

“Following up every shot, that’s a mentality,” Boyd said. “Once you have it, it’s your habit. Our team’s not always good about that habit.”

Shane had multiple opportunities to score or set someone up with the free kick, but her first shot was a little off target.

“I had a free kick in the first half, and I was like, ‘just put it on frame’ and of course it went over, but it was really close,” Shane said. “I came up for my second one and I was like ‘whatever you do, put it on frame, ‘cause guaranteed someone’s going to follow it’

“Thank God Nikki followed it, because that was our chance. We capitalized on it.”

The goal was Stone’s first of her career as a Sun Devil.

“Luckily Kari put a great ball in, and I just followed it up,” Stone said. “If the ball is hit hard enough than there’s a good chance that they’re going to drop it or get one hand on it.”

Despite the victory over a program that had made four straight NCAA tournament appearances, the Sun Devils did not think they played to the level they’re capable of.

“I didn’t think we played well,” Boyd said. We weren’t bad, but we weren’t what we’ve been trying to work on. We didn’t show who we were, and we’ve been all about trying to impose our style on a game, and we just didn’t do that today.

“I definitely thought we battled. It wasn’t a lack of effort, it’s just we weren’t tuned in all the way.”

Shane agreed with Boyd and called upon the team to play hard no matter how hot it is on the field.

“We showed up to play, but I feel like we have a lot more potential,” Shane said. “We need to start knowing that and hoping that it’s going to be 115 every day, and coming up to that level to be playing at our best no matter what the condition is. I know our team is really good and can do that.”

Last year ASU and South Carolina tied 1-1 after two overtimes periods.

Prior to their game against ASU, South Carolina knocked off Arizona in overtime. UA was predicted to finish last in the Pac-12.


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